September 29 (Matthew 7:13-14)
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (ESV)
Angel’s Landing is one of the scariest hikes in the United States. The trail takes you two and a half miles to a peak that towers 5,790 feet above Zion Canyon in Zion National Park. The narrow path to the ascent is not for the faint of heart, yet the reward for making it is a breathtaking view of natural splendor, and it is a perfect illustration for what Jesus was talking about.
Do not let anyone tell you the Christian life is easy. It is not. Ask the martyrs, both in the ancient world of the Roman colosseum and in modern day Iran. As one Iranian Christian put it, “We know that if they get us, the first thing they will do to us as a woman is rape us and then they will beat us and ultimately they will kill us.” An Iranian Christian leader said this. “Disciples forsake the world and cling to Jesus ’till he comes. Converts don’t. Disciples aren’t engaged in a culture war. Converts are. Disciples cherish, obey, and share the word of God. Converts don’t. Disciples choose Jesus over anything and everything else. Converts don’t. Converts run when the fire comes. Disciples don’t.”
Disciples choose Jesus over anything and everything else. Have you? Have I? Are we nice, polite, decent people who help make society work in a civilized manner, or are we more than that? Are we born-again, washed-in-the-blood, new creations in Christ? Do we see Jesus when we look at our problems and desires? Do we see Jesus when we look at our jobs and our money and our time? Do we see Jesus when we look at other people? Pause for a moment and present the words of Jesus and the actions of your own life to God. Let Him speak to you and show you which path you are truly walking.
Lord, I want no illusions. Have I truly forsaken the world to cling to Jesus? Do I cherish, obey, and share Your word? Do I choose Jesus over anything and everything else? Reveal to me any place where my answer is no and lead me back to the narrow path of life. In the name of Jesus, Who has redeemed me and made me new, amen.